An application for an Intervention Order must come before the Court so a Magistrate can decide whether or not to grant it.
The Affected Person and the Respondent will be seated in the Courtroom’s front row. They sit behind their lawyers, who sit at the bar table.
If the Affected Person has applied for the order, their lawyer will sit closest to the witness stand. If the Police have applied for the intervention order on behalf of the Affected Person, the police prosecutor or police lawyer will sit closest to the witness stand. The lawyer for the Respondent will sit at the end of the bar table, closest to the door.
At the start of the hearing, the Magistrate will ask the parties to outline what the intervention order application is about, and if they have come to an agreement between their lawyers. If the parties have not come to an agreement, the Magistrate may ask the affected person to give evidence about the information in their application.
A witness can choose to take an oath and swear on the Bible or other religious text. They can also choose to make an affirmation. This is a promise to the Court to tell the truth.
If the respondent does not come to court, the Magistrate may still ask the affected person to give evidence about the information in their application. This is so they have all the information they need to make a decision about the application.
The Hearing Process
When you return to Court for your Intervention Order application hearing:
- Let the Registrar know you have arrived. He/she will ask if you want to speak to a Support Worker, or a Duty Lawyer (who can represent you in Court). If the police took out the application for you, the Registrar may ask you to speak to the police prosecutor, police lawyer or the police liaison officer about your application.
- You will be directed to a waiting area. (The Duty Lawyer and Support Worker will be there).
- If you have elected to speak to a Duty Lawyer, he/she will talk to the Respondent’s lawyer about what you want, and try to come to an agreement.
- If an agreement is reached, your application will be called before the Court. The Magistrate will then make the order agreed upon.
- If an agreement is not reached, your application will be called before the Court and the Magistrate will adjourn your application to another day. The Magistrate can make an ‘interim intervention order’ (that provides protection until a ‘final order’ is made), if you do not already have an order in place.
- When your order has been made, the Registrar types it up and gives you a copy. You can leave Court. If you are concerned for your safety, tell your lawyer, the police or the Registrar, and they will assist you.
Other people can come into the courtroom and listen to your case. However, your lawyer can request the Magistrate make an order to ‘close’ the Court. If granted, only people who are involved in the case can be present. If the police have applied for your Intervention Order, a police prosecutor, police lawyer or police liaison officer will also be in Court.
Remember: You may be at court all day. There may also be a number of hearings and court dates before the Court makes its decision. When you make your initial appointment, please ensure you allow enough time, and understand that you may have to visit Court more than once.
When you come to Court, it is best to try to organise childcare for your children if possible. Community support services may be able to help you arrange childcare.
You can also bring a support person with you to Court. This can be a friend or family member, or a worker from a community service organisation.
You may wish to bring food and drink to court with you.